Jason Snell recently wrote that once he invests the time to learn and get comfortable with a tool, it takes something not just a little better, but substantially better to get him to switch. His examples were software he uses to edit podcasts and his overall computer set up: He edits his podcasts with Apple’s Logic even though many folks think he should move to Adobe Audition. Similarly, he really likes a lot about working on an iPad, but it’s not enough to make him sell his Mac and go whole hog on iOS.
I tend to agree with Mr. Snell on most things and this is no exception. About a year ago, I was pleasantly surprised to find we both used the same grocery list app: Grocery IQ. Sure, it’s kind of ugly and barely maintained and littered with useless coupons, but it worked better than any other list app (general or grocery-specific) I had tried. And yet, when I saw the folks over at The Sweet Setup chose AnyList as their favorite grocery shopping app I was tempted–Could it be worth the switching cost? On the other hand, this is an app my wife and I both use several times per week so the bar was higher than usual. I bit the bullet and checked it out.
The short answer is that AnyList is way better than Grocery IQ and I couldn’t be happier that I switched. Here’s why:
- I can add items to the shopping list with Siri; e.g., “Add bananas to my grocery list.”
- I can reorder aisles (“categories”) to match my store’s layout.
- AnyList makes more efficient use of screen real estate.
- No coupons!
- AnyList has much faster syncing of shared lists.
- It’s under active development. This has tangible benefits relative to Grocery IQ like the fact that it uses the current iOS keyboard instead of a grody old one.
From here on out, I’m going to be more open to trying new tools. In this case, I screwed up the cost benefit calculation on both sides: I couldn’t imagine the app could be this much better than what I was already using, and I over-estimated the switching costs–It’s not like a had a whole bunch of muscle memory invested in checking off items as I bought them.